AGE APPROPRIATE COMEDY WRITING
This week has been a challenge. I’m 74 and although I’ve been performing for over 9 years, most of my audiences are from 30 – 95 years old. My persona is an older woman trying to stay young and thinking she is still a Smokin’ Hot 35 year old. Anyone over 30 gets it.
I teach Oral Presentation Through Comedy to 5th graders. None of my humor appeals to them and they sit bleary eyed when I tell my jokes. I try to think like a 5th grader, but unless I tell a Yo Mama, Knock Knock, or a fart joke, they don’t really get me. Fortunately, I’m not there to entertain them, but to teach them to be confident speakers. The comedy is just a vehicle to help them forget they are public speaking. So I don’t worry much about writing material for 5th graders.
This week I was asked to perform for a group of young adults (18-22). That created a new challenge because they really don’t relate to a lot of my material. So I had to develop some new bits that would be more of their liking. I had to remember what it was like without cell phones, computers, and cyber stalking. I had to make sure I used some humor about Facebook, Twitter, and what it means to be twitterpated.
The event was outside around a fire ring and I had visions of me falling in the fire, or the kids roasting marshmallows during my act. As it turned out, they were generous with their laughter and I felt good about writing some new material that will undoubtedly get used again.
Anyone who aspires to be a comic needs to keep the audience in mind. I’m there to entertain and that means creating material that is relevant to the audience. It takes time and practice (and help from my other comic friends), but it is worth the effort and builds my repertoire for a later date.
Next week I’ll be performing at an Active Senior Community. They are my peeps, so most of my material should hit home.
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